Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

CPDI for establishment of Punjab information commission

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ISLAMABAD: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, (CPDI), Wednesday, urged Punjab government to immediately appoint well reputed Information Commissioners in line with the criterion set in the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Commission.

This will only happen once Punjab Information Commission is established. The Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 was enacted on December 12, 2013.

Enactment of a Right to Information law does not automatically guarantee right to information until and unless effective implementation mechanism is put in place. Under this law, Punjab Information Commission has to be established to oversee the implementation of this law.

Furthermore, government of Punjab has to develop rules and regulations of this law in consultation with Punjab Information Commission. Each public body is bound under this law to designate Public Information Officers to facilitate easy and cost effective access to information.

These Public Information Officers will have to be trained so that they could perform their duties in accordance with the provisions of Punjab right to information law. At the same time, Punjab public bodies are required under this law to disclose information in a proactive manner.

CPDI also demands that Punjab government should appoint three information commissioners to ensure effective implementation of the law. It should be noted that contrary to the demand of CPDI, the provision pertaining to the number of information commissioners say that ‘not more than three’ information commissioners will be appointed.

At all time, Punjab Information Commission should consist of three members, one each from bureaucracy, civil society and legal community so that perspectives of cross sections of the society are reflected in Punjab Information Commission. CPDI urges Punjab government to start the process of appointing information commissioners and establishing secretariat of Punjab Information Commission without delay.